These reasons why it is important to read will help encourage you to find time to read more books on your own or with your kids.
If you're struggling to justify the time you need to take to read, I think it is important to consider the reasons your reading hobby is truly valuable.
Once you consider these 15 reasons why it is important to read, you'll have a much easier time making reading books a priority in your life.
This healthy habit is wonderful not just for you as an adult but for your kids as well.
- 1. Relieves Stress
- 2. Builds Connection with Friends
- 3. Expands Your World
- 4. Grows Your Vocabulary
- 5. Improves Memory
- 6. Makes You Smarter
- 7. Makes You a Better Conversationalist
- 8. Strengthens Focus and Attention Span
- 9. Feeds Curiosity
- 10. Strengthens Your Sense of Empathy
- 11. Soothes Anxiety
- 12. Family Bonding
- 13. Modeling Positive Behavior for Kids
- 14. Budget-Friendly Entertainment
- 15. Encourages More Books to Be Written
- Next Steps
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1. Relieves Stress
The world is a crazy stressful place for grown-ups. We are juggling a lot.
Mental health challenges are more than common and we're all looking for ways to relieve our stresses.
In a 2009 study from Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, testing found that reading reduced stress levels by 68 percent, making it a more effective means of relaxation than taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, or playing video games.
2. Builds Connection with Friends
It is a known fact that it is really difficult to make friends as an adult.
This problem has been exacerbated by the global challenges of 2020.
A recent study by the American Survey Center showed that adults report having fewer friends and feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise.
This is one of the many reasons I created the Peanut Blossom Book Club.
Reading a book at the same time as other friends builds your connection and gives you a shared experience that can be difficult to find in other ways as an adult.
Want to join us? We love having new members.
3. Expands Your World
Social media has made it all too easy to surround yourself with a bubble of like-minded people.
When we read stories about characters who have lives different than our own, we expand our world and learn about places and experiences we are unlikely to have on our own.
Reading helps break down your bubble and provides you new things to consider you may not be exposed to in your usual channels of connection.
4. Grows Your Vocabulary
Reading doesn't just grow the number of words you know, it improves how you understand the definition of those words because you are exposed to them in context of usage.
A stronger vocabulary helps you to communicate better and is a strong indicator of improved performance and success at work.
5. Improves Memory
Working hand in hand with improved vocabulary, reading also helps to improve your memory.
The act of reading triggers connections in your brain to help you remember all those words you are exposing yourself to along with the details of the story you are working through.
6. Makes You Smarter
No matter what you are reading, whether it is a romance book or even a fluffy beach read, you are learning new facts about our world that help improve your intelligence.
Perhaps you're learning about a new destination or facts about foods common in another place. Maybe you're learning about a job a character has that is new to you.
Even lighthearted fiction has lessons that will make you smarter but if you want an even greater challenge, dig in on an excellent historical fiction novel and rediscover the joy of lifelong learning.
7. Makes You a Better Conversationalist
"What are you reading?" used to be a common question at cocktail parties for a reason.
Who wants to spend an evening rehashing a meeting at work? While everyone needs a chance to vent off the day's stresses, your conversations will be far more interesting when you can share details from the book you're loving.
My husband and I occasionally choose a book to read at the same time so we have something more fun to discuss at night. It exposes us both to things we may not have picked on our own.
8. Strengthens Focus and Attention Span
A recent study by Microsoft concluded that the adult attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years.
It's no wonder. Short form internet videos have trained us to only accept spoon fed content that is like candy for our brains.
The only way to correct a short attention span is to actively flex that brain muscle and retrain it to accept longer pieces of content. Like a good book!
It may feel uncomfortable at first because you're out of practice, but these books for short attention spans are a great place to start.
9. Feeds Curiosity
My heart is so happy every time I see a book club member ask our group:
"Did anyone else have to stop reading to look up XYZ and learn more about it??"
Reading a book may encourage you to look up a song a character loves, find a picture of the castle they live in, or cook a recipe that they describe.
The curiosity that comes from reading can be downright magical.
10. Strengthens Your Sense of Empathy
Reading about the challenges your character faces and how they feel about and respond to it helps you to understand another person more intimately.
Reading helps you to walk in another person's shoes and helps you to have more empathy for the real people you encounter in your day to day world.
11. Soothes Anxiety
While reading helps with physical stress relief, it can also be a reassuring source of comfort for anxiety about today's challenging world.
Reading helps you to know that other people have also faced difficult challenges and how often they had a happy ending.
Knowing that bad things have also happened to others but that they also came out on top in the end reaffirms that your challenging scenario doesn't have to be the end of the story.
12. Family Bonding
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, reading significantly helps brain development and encourages a strong, emotional bond between parents and their children.
Not only is reading essential for young children, but older children also benefit from an active reading life.
Sharing stories together with your kids gives you another way to connect and a fun thing to improve the nightly family dinner conversations.
13. Modeling Positive Behavior for Kids
"Do as I say, not as I do," has never really been an effective parenting model for a reason.
Kids are far more likely to be readers if they see consistent modeling by the adults in their life.
You're not reading just for yourself, do it for the kids!
14. Budget-Friendly Entertainment
The price of entertainment today is shocking. Between cable or streaming services, movie theater prices, and the cost of a smart phone, our entertainment budgets are out of control.
On the flip side? A library card is free.
Reading is one of the last budget-friendly entertainment options available today.
15. Encourages More Books to Be Written
The publishing industry is struggling. People are reading less and buying fewer books.
This means fewer authors will share their stories with the world.
When you buy books or encourage your library to stock plenty of copies to meet high demand, it supports a wide web of creative jobs that make this world a better place.
Now that you're hopefully convinced that reading is important, what should you do?
I strongly encourage you to join the Peanut Blossom Book Club and make time to read in your daily life.